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Healthy Office – Social Distancing Office Furniture

Social Distancing

Social distancing in the workplace is a team effort and can greatly reduce the risk of contracting, and passing on to colleagues, not only COVID-19 but many viruses. As we have seen, most companies can continue their businesses with employees working from home, but there are other losses working this way. Many employees feel a sense of isolation and miss interaction with colleagues, remembering when they were working in the office and collaborating on projects. Company culture may suffer with everyone working from home. Making it possible for employees to start coming back to the office to work, while still maintaining social distance, is imperative in order to keeping everyone safe. This means changes to how people work in the office. New measures include one-way traffic flows, reduced capacity within the office and elevators, staggered work times, empty seats, updated office layouts, partitions, and installation of sanitization stations.

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Social distancing office layouts

As employees start going back to work, they will find that their offices will look a little different. Considering the flow of foot traffic, especially through busy areas or shared areas like a printer area, for example, will be one of the biggest challenges. Many offices’ layouts will have desks or workstations spaced further apart or moved away from high-traffic areas to maintain social distancing. There will also be more partitions, typically 6’ or more in height, to separate employees and ensure that they are 6’ away from each other, depending on each state’s guidelines. Shared benching units, usually 2-, 3-, 4-, 6-, or 8-person configurations, will not all be used at the same time as they once were. A few employees at a time may be in on a particular day and will be seated 6’ apart as recommended by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines.

Social distancing partitions

There are a number of ways to decrease the amount of exposure experienced by people in your office using a divider or partition. One option is adding a transparent divider on top of a reception desk, office workstation desk, or cubicle panel. Another is using privacy screens or mobile partitions that can also be set up around a desk or workstation. Screens create more of a cubicle feel without adding structural walls. Finally, adding portable acrylic screens to a conference-room table will allow for multiple people to be at the same table while still maintaining maximum virus protection. These screens are also easy to set up and to carry from meeting to meeting, if needed.

Social distancing furniture

In order to follow CDC guidelines and disinfect the office more frequently, more laminate, polycarbonate, Lexan, and glass dividers are replacing existing fabric dividers. Chairs with vinyl fabric, bleachable fabric, plastic, or poly are replacing some traditional upholstered chairs. As a result of the emergence of COVID-19 in 2020, bleachable fabrics are becoming a more common option in finish selections offered by manufacturers.

Social distancing signage

Clear signage throughout the office can reduce human error and remind everyone what is expected. Signs also offer reminders of changes that have been made and can reassure employees who may be cautious about returning to work. Bright-colored signs that mark clear traffic patterns, indicate where to stand to keep a safe 6’ apart, and state maximum occupancy in elevators, individual offices, meeting areas, and kitchen areas are increasingly common reminders in all workplaces of how to keep safe.

benching unit with glass screens

Healthy Office Cubicles & Workspaces

Looking for workstations that maintain the 6 feet required for social distancing in your office? There are many configurations and designs that can accomplish that. Below are just a few examples. Email design@joycecontract.com and let one of our designers help you create the look and feel that fits your company’s culture.

Healthy Office Guest Seating

Below is a small sampling of poly and vinyl chairs that can be wiped down and cleaned. Looking for a different style chair? Email sales@joycecontract.com and one of our sales associates can help you select the perfect chair.

Healthy Office Desk and Task Seating

Below is a small sampling of poly and vinyl chairs that can be wiped down and cleaned. Looking for a different style chair? Email sales@joycecontract.com and one of our sales associates can help you select the perfect chair.

Social distancing office layouts

As employees start going back to work, they will find that their offices will look a little different. Considering the flow of foot traffic, especially through busy areas or shared areas like a printer area, for example, will be one of the biggest challenges. Many offices’ layouts will have desks or workstations spaced further apart or moved away from high-traffic areas to maintain social distancing. There will also be more partitions, typically 6’ or more in height, to separate employees and ensure that they are 6’ away from each other, depending on each state’s guidelines. Shared benching units, usually 2-, 3-, 4-, 6-, or 8-person configurations, will not all be used at the same time as they once were. A few employees at a time may be in on a particular day and will be seated 6’ apart as recommended by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines.

Social distancing partitions

There are a number of ways to decrease the amount of exposure experienced by people in your office using a divider or partition. One option is adding a transparent divider on top of a reception desk, office workstation desk, or cubicle panel. Another is using privacy screens or mobile partitions that can also be set up around a desk or workstation. Screens create more of a cubicle feel without adding structural walls. Finally, adding portable acrylic screens to a conference-room table will allow for multiple people to be at the same table while still maintaining maximum virus protection. These screens are also easy to set up and to carry from meeting to meeting, if needed.

Social distancing furniture

In order to follow CDC guidelines and disinfect the office more frequently, more laminate, polycarbonate, Lexan, and glass dividers are replacing existing fabric dividers. Chairs with vinyl fabric, bleachable fabric, plastic, or poly are replacing some traditional upholstered chairs. As a result of the emergence of COVID-19 in 2020, bleachable fabrics are becoming a more common option in finish selections offered by manufacturers.

Social distancing signage

Clear signage throughout the office can reduce human error and remind everyone what is expected. Signs also offer reminders of changes that have been made and can reassure employees who may be cautious about returning to work. Bright-colored signs that mark clear traffic patterns, indicate where to stand to keep a safe 6’ apart, and state maximum occupancy in elevators, individual offices, meeting areas, and kitchen areas are increasingly common reminders in all workplaces of how to keep safe.

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